- Jane Wheeler
Even in the Shallows
Much like the ocean, wisdom gets larger as we get older because hopefully we are learning from all of our life lessons. The deep gets deeper and the light colored shoals flow out towards the deep, intermingling together until we loose sight in the black depths of the ocean. Our own internal depths can only be accessed by special circumstances, much like the real ocean which would need special gear or a submarine. The pressures of life can cause us to dive deeply into our wisdom, wondering which reserves will withstand the pressure at the time.
The ocean has a shore, shallow areas where we are free to walk, skip, swim, unhindered by the deep currents and blackness. The one and same ocean has shallow areas and deep areas both are usable and necessary.
I can tell you from experience that the shallows can be extraordinarily powerful depending on which ocean, sea or body of water you are standing in. I have dipped my feet into many bodies of water, walked along the shore of lakes, oceans, rivers, loving the feeling of my feet in the sand. It is a wonderful feeling to stand there with the water caressing your feet and your toes digging in.
I think back to my visit in Hawaii where my husband and I got to the beach watching the waves roll in thunderously lapping around our ankles with only a few inches of water. As we approached the water some folks cautioned us to be careful even in the shallows. Incredulously we looked at the tiny bit of water that beckoned us to dip our feet and wondered what the warning was about. We thought we knew better.
As soon as the first onslaught of waves reached our feet, encircled our ankles and then proceeded to wash back out to the sea, we knew.
The sensation of standing firmly on the sand and then having the actual sand be washed out and pulled out from under your feet by an incredible current only to send you crashing onto your buttocks was what the warning was pertaining to.
This little bit of water, just the edge of the magnificent ocean was so powerfully strong with a current that threatened to topple you right where you stood. Finding yourself flopping on the ground like a fish out of water is a humbling experience.
Sometimes we think we have to have all the answers because to not to would appear shallow and weak, but even Jesus , the profoundest mystery of God, came as a baby, not as a wiseman.
Shallow can be powerful!
Jesus said unless our faith becomes like little children’s we will not see the Kingdom of God. (Mark 10:15, Matthew 18:3) Children are not people we would refer to as “deep”, “wise” or even “profound” and yet Jesus gives them credit for the right kind of faith.
What is different about a child’s faith? It is simple, trusting, and certainly not complicated. Children seem to get it, while adults keep working for it.
We like to think children learn all they know from their parents, but children, like the ocean, have much to teach adults in so many areas.